I am a typical old-academic fortunately trapped in doing things they like. In my graduate-student days I learned some structural equation modeling – only to find most people did not understand it. So I wrote the first textbook-length introduction to SEM with latent variables, and the trap sprung. My next book dealt with SEM misunderstandings, disagreements, and some fun ideas. The bulk of my subsequent work appeared as articles striving to improve general structural equation modeling. I participate in SEMNET – a free listserve dedicated to structural equation modeling – and have disagreed with many people about many things. Those discussions can get quite heated, and my publications have tended to address the substance of the disagreements by illustrating or clarifying contentious points.
Over the years I encountered more than my fair share of cleanly fitting and informative structural models, and I count myself fortunate for having assisted several researchers who can justifiably make the same claim. Along the way I encountered students and colleagues stumbling unnecessarily over things for which I could not find any literature-remedy, or ameliorative examples. Fortuitously I recently found myself struggling with some failing structural equation models – and feeling good about the struggle; and also feeling optimistic about employing these models to instruct others. Hence, I am currently working on a book addressing basic structural equation modeling diagnostics. This is not about statistics, or disagreements – it focuses on thinking about structural equation models.
My substantive interests reside in social psychology, and social psychology’s connections to physiology, neurons, genetics, and neuroscience. The academic edges here require sharpening if they are to become cutting-edges, so I have become the social psychological equivalent of a barber’s strop. Here, as in structural equation modeling, I function as a variance-maximizer. Any given audience is bifurcated into those greatly appreciating or disliking my approach and comments. It produces an enlivening academic ride.